As always, summer is passing much too quickly. I am on mat leave and Matt, as a teacher, has his summer off. Fortunately, we have enjoyed many visits with family and friends at the farm and Kavanagh cottage in Bancroft. It is precious to see Ellie running around with her cousins and friends who create games and design costumes. Last Wednesday, it was Queen Fairies and Knights. Cousin Rory used a flutter board from the beach as his shield. He is 4. In total, 3 girls and 3 boys aging 2 – 7 ran, screamed, laughed and danced through the field, by the pond and under the apple tree. It would make Shakespeare smile.
One of our recent visits finished with these words:
Evelyn to Ellie: We’ll have you over to our house for dinner soon, ok?
Ellie: Ok. Will you have drinks for Christine?
Evelyn: Sure, what does your Mom like to drink?
Evelyn: Wine. Ok. And what does Daddy like?
It has been said that Elizabeth can be really creative when naming her dolls. When she was given her first “baby” at just one year, I asked what the doll’s name was and it sounded as though she said, “Myrtle.” When I repeated that name with a laugh she laughed too. The name stuck. Her second doll was given to her when Emma was born. This one she quickly named, “Sayaka,” after my brother’s girlfriend. She went on to call a few other random things around the house, Sayaka; her spider plant and the groundhog who lives in the back yard. Two weeks ago, she suddenly changed Myrtle and Sayaka to Wiggle and Pop and those names have stuck. However, today she was playing with a new toy and told me it’s name was Help. We’ll see where all this leads…
Ah, two and a half years in as a mother and I am still slow to investigate the quiet times. We had such a peaceful morning on Ellie’s first day home for the summer. No more daycare for her! I am a full time mother for at least another 14 months. Sweet bliss of Ontario EI.
Our first morning as a threesome began slowly because Ellie is enjoying not having to rush off to “Elle’s House” when the music plays on the radio. She knows that when she hears the Current’s theme music on the CBC that it is time to head out the door so we will not be late. Now, she can continue to play and disregard that old schedule until we develop a new one in the fall. Summer days are meant to be long and lazy.
I was finishing my mocha before heading upstairs to get my social toddler ready for a morning at the park. It’s so hot this summer so it’s better to get outside before the scorching heat of midday. Well, apparently, Ellie had her own plans which included smearing her entire head full of goopy gloppy vaseline. Otherwise known as “Emma’s bum cream.” I could not even see the strands of her hair she had used so much. Perhaps she did this to cool herself? She did not really have an explanation when I asked her, “Ellie, why did you put Emma’s bum cream in your hair?”
After explaining it was not such a good idea and that now we could not go to the park to include sand in the mix my solution was as follows: I put one of Emma’s baby caps on Ellie and told her to keep it on until I figured out what to do. So she sat and read while I sent messages out to trusted Moms and my sister, Trish, a former hairdresser. Trish suggested Dawn dish detergent and it helped. It is now over a week later and with many washings and swims Ellie’s hair still looks like it needs a good wash.
She chooses her thumb over the giraffe.
“It’s better,” feels Emma.
Soft caterpillar in hand
her head bobs on chubby shoulders
wide-eyed and drooling
squeezed into her green Bumbo
her toes and feet dancing in the air
soft skin under older hands.
This story has been spreading around family and friends so I will post it here for you. Elizabeth (Ellie) – now 2 and a half – had returned home fr0m Elle’s house, where she spends Monday thru Thursdays. I was changing her diaper on the couch. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Elle takes Elizabeth to Roden drop-in. On this certain day, Ellie left the house in the morning wearing a butterfly necklace which she had made at Elle’s house. I noticed that the necklace was missing so I asked her, “Where is your necklace?” Elizabeth paused and thought for a moment before she smacked the palm of her hand against her forehead and exclaimed, “Oh Fuck!” She rolled her eyes and said plainly, “forgot it at drop-in.”
Ellie and I continuously debate our roles in the family. She says, “I’m the Boss,” and I tell her that “I am the Boss and that she is just bossy.” What I know for sure is that I am now the Lady of the house. However; I am also the Lady’s maid, housekeeper, nanny, butler, footman, valet, gardener, cook and even, the lowly Daisy. I just wish I had a talented British writer to prepare witty dialogue so I could speak like the Dowager Countess whose role I am happy to leave out as of now.